Domer Diaries

My Domer Diary: Phil Sklar

A One-of-a-Kind Museum


Editor's Note: This week’s Domer Diaries comes from Phil Sklar '07 M.A., co-founder and CEO of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in Milwaukee, which showcases the world's largest collection of bobbleheads from all genres and periods. 

Name: Phil Sklar
Class Year: 2007
Residence Halls: McGlinn and Pasquerilla West
Majors and Minor: Masters of Science in Accountancy
Student Activities: President of the YMP Class of 2007
Local Notre Dame club or affinity groups: Notre Dame Club of Milwaukee

What led to your initial interest in bobbleheads and what inspired you to start the museum?

My dad collected sports cards growing up and got me into collecting at a young age. The collection shifted from cards to bobbleheads around 2003, when my friend and other co-founder, Brad, got a bobblehead when he was working for a minor league baseball team in Rockford where we grew up. We started circling area bobblehead giveaway dates on the calendar, and the collection grew slowly over time. By 2013, we had close to 2,000 bobbleheads and sought to produce a bobblehead for the first time. During the production process, we realized that there wasn’t a company that was producing and marketing unique bobbleheads. Our collection was growing out of control, so we started to make a list of opportunities and build a business plan for a one-of-a-kind museum dedicated to bobbleheads that also produced and marketed unique bobbleheads.

Since the museum opened to the general public in 2019, what has been your fondest memory of the community formed through the museum?

We’ve had some celebrities who have visited like Macaulay Culkin, but the fondest memories are the reactions that we get from visitors who are blown away by the museum on a daily basis. We’ve had visitors from all 50 states and over 30 different countries since opening, and it’s great to see people from all different backgrounds and age groups enjoy the museum.

Were there any significant moments or relationships from your time at ND that continue to influence you today?

There were many moments and relationships from my time at ND that continue to influence me today. One would be the strong work ethic that my time at ND instilled in me. Running a business requires a broad set of skills, and many of those were learned or enhanced by my time at ND. The relationships with classmates, professors, and staff also played a key role and continue to influence me today.